Scooters Present New Problems for Congested Roads in Tysons Corner/McLean/Fairfax
It is that time of year when residents in our community hit the roads in all forms of modes of transportation. Now add electric scooters to the mix, explains Jeffrey Downey, personal injury attorney serving the Washington DC, Virginia, and Maryland. People tend to drive these scooters in the road like regular cars, but that does not make them safe. In response, many local governments are imposing new regulations to address the potential safety issue.
A few years ago, I wrote an article about biking and the increase in cycling injuries on the road in the DC region. And now, the accidents that are waiting to happen seem to be those electric scooters that seems to be everywhere,” says Downey.
It is interesting to note that issues that may affect the region both locally and nationally. Some recent notes of local interest for our readers and followers:
1) The Code of Virginia has been updated to allow for any city, county, town, or political subdivision to regulate these newer modes of transportation.
2) The town council in Vienna is exploring regulations to oversee the operation of electric scooters. The issue was tabled until the next town council meeting in September 2019, but the hope is to have legislation on the books by January 1st, 2020.
3) The City of Fairfax launched a pilot program on July 8th to allowing three companies, Bird, Lime and Spin to offer their scooters for rent.
Electric scooters have increased rate of injuries, prompting concern from health officials nationally. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia just recently put out a notice that is teaming up with health officials at Austin Public Health in Austin, Texas to study the issue. The data is minimal at best, but it is just a snapshot of the extent of the potential for more injuries. Measuring over three months in 2018, there were 192 scooter-related injuries in 2018. Half were head injuries, including 15 percent that were traumatic brain injuries (TBI) such as brain concussions and bleeding of the brain. Of that small sample, less than one percent of the injured riders were wearing a helmet.
As for cycling, suffice to say while biking is an activity that encourages a healthy lifestyle, because of our 21st Century dependency of electronic gadgets, it is important to always be aware on the roads. The laws in our regions that apply to bicycles apply now to scooters as well.
In Virginia – http://www.virginiadot.org/programs/bikeped/laws_and_safety_tips.asp
My paralegal was a recreational bike enthusiast on the roads of this region for many years. He finally turned in his wheels because he simply did not feel safe biking on the roads. Bike riders are at increased risk for serious injury even when they wear helmets because they are largely unprotected on the roads. Scooters suffer from many of the same safety deficits as bikes and the statistics clearly reflect a trouble trend, explains Tysons personal injury lawyer Jeffrey J. Downey.
If you have been involved in an accident and would like to speak to someone about your case, please call The Law Office of Jeffrey J. Downey for a free consultation.
Serving clients in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Address: 8270 Greensboro Drive, Suite 810, McLean, VA, 22101, Phone 703-564-7318. On the web at www.jeffdowney.com.
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